I have something similar to figurine that looks a Russian doll. It has kanji that I cannot recognize. This probably is a drinking game? I would be so happy to know these kanji and the official name of this:
enter image description here

This looks like . After that I can't read.

One of the other sides just has the hiragana .
The bottom is blank.
The 4th sides has these characters: enter image description here

The cube that fits in the middle has these 6 sides:
(1) blank
(2) 踊
(3) 唄
(4) 五合
(5) 壹合
(6) _升 // <-- I have zero reputation so I cannot write the kanji I can't recognize here

This is so much to ask. So, any bits of information will help so much to identify this.


It seems to say (thanks to @brokenheadphones & @Shoko)

手のなる方へ = 手の鳴る方【ほう】へ

enter image description here

alluding to 『鬼さんこちら、手のなる方へ』, a phrase used in tag-like game with a blindfolded 鬼 (the person who is "it"). (See 目隠し鬼 on kotobank.jp.)

I suppose you roll the die and depending on what comes up you should

  • [blank]
  • dance (踊)
  • sing (唄)
  • drink from the small cup (壹合【いちごう】)
  • drink from the middle cup (五合【ごごう】)
  • drink from the large cup (壹升【いっしょう】)

Here 壹 is an alternative kanji for 一 "one".

合【ごう】 is a measuring unit, about 180 ml. 10合 = 1升【しょう】, so about 1.8 l. (Judging from the size, the actual size of the cups is probably not what it says, which would have to be roughly 180 ml, 902 ml, 1804 ml.)

  • Assuming 16% ABV for sake, the 一升 size would be a beastly 288.5ml of alcohol -- or about the equivalent of 16 shots of 80-proof hard liquor. Egad. 😲 Feb 20 '17 at 20:45
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi It's the same る but in a bit more scribbled style. clioapi.hi.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ships/ZClient/W34/… Note that the 変体仮名 collection proposed to Unicode clears off same-origin variants as much as possible, so this letter is likely to be unified with standard る. Feb 20 '17 at 23:33
  • 1
    – Chocolate
    Feb 20 '17 at 23:50
  • 1
    @EiríkrÚtlendi If you think of this な as a くずし字 for 奈, it might be easier to see. For example, see this picture from here.
    – Earthliŋ
    Feb 21 '17 at 0:47
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi The 合 measurement is not the actual on these containers. The largest one, not surprisingly, exactly fills a shot glass. And, I actually did find the shot glass it comes with! Same porcelain with a mischievous pseudo-smiley face. Now I just need some old friends and 日本酒.
    – riverflows
    Feb 21 '17 at 4:40

For the bottom picture, the writing indicates the sizes. From small to large:

  • 壹{いち}合{ごう}
    Archaic form of modern 壱合, itself the fancy form of 一合. This means "one ", where a is an old unit of volume, equivalent to 180.39ml. Apparently in Chinese, this traditional unit of measure has been rejiggered (pun intended) to equal 100ml. By comparison, the traditional UK cup is equivalent to 236.59ml.
  • 五{ご}合{ごう}
    "Go, go, Gadget!" In this case, the ceramic cup is labeled "five ", or about 901.95ml. That's nearly a liter -- quite large, really. I can't tell anything clear about scale from your photo.
  • 壹{いっ}升{しょう}
    Archaic form of modern 壱升, again the fancy form of 一升. This means "one shō", where a shō is equal to 10 , or about 1.8 liters.

The smallest cube to the right in the top picture appears to have writing on all sides. I can only make out two sides:

  • 壹{いち}合{ごう}
    On the left-hand face, turned 90° counterclockwise.
  • 壹{いっ}升{しょう}
    On the right-hand face.

This smallest cube might be used as a die in a drinking game, as you guess.

  • This time I just about beat you =). I think 升 is しょう here.
    – Earthliŋ
    Feb 20 '17 at 20:36
  • @Earthliŋ: Thank you! Fixing the reading now... Feb 20 '17 at 20:38

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